Irrespective of the domain, industry, and enterprise, the fact that Sales is the force that is single-handedly responsible for propelling businesses forward, is undeniable. With the pandemic irrevocably changing the landscape of human interactions, it has never been more prudent to explore the different Sales methodologies to keep the businesses up and running. Today, emerging technologies are at the forefront of this digital revolution in the Sales domain. It brings newer and more reliable methods to identify, target, convert, and close sales.
Why is now the best time for a career in sales strategy?
With experience in sales, a dependable repetitive process is often designed that occurs daily, weekly, or monthly that is ascertained to yield success. However, Sales Strategy, or Strategic Sales Management, on the other hand, requires you to handle a wide variety of tasks. Your responsibilities can vary from thoroughly analyzing the numbers to conceiving a success formula to cross-departmental meetings that will be crucial to elevating the sales numbers.
Being a Sales Strategist, one can quickly gather knowledge about the various aspects of how sales, on the whole, contributes to the growth of a business. With physical interactions becoming increasingly scarce, now is the best time to develop competencies in Strategic Sales Management and successfully chart out a career in the same.
Top five job skills to become a job-ready Strategic Digital Sales expert:
1. Adopting emerging technologies like predictive analytics
Zoho predicted that only 33% of sales teams use Data Analysis to prioritize leads. Effective use of data can do wonders for sales strategies. As customer interactions occur daily, it’s easy to collect data regarding customers, sales patterns, product experience feedback, etc. Analyzing the same can be a game-changer for predicting, preparing, and implementing effective sales strategies.
2. Impeccable communication skills
According to a report by Leadsquared, when discussing with salespeople their everyday challenges, 34.48% of them said communication is the biggest challenge, & the inability to understand customers’ sentiments (during one-on-one interactions) was a huge concern. Building sustainable relationships are the key to making a successful sale.
It is necessary for the customer to clearly understand how the product/service is beneficial to them. Therefore, strong communication skills play a vital role in being able to converse confidently with the customers and convey the same to them.
3. Customer empathy
A respectable organization will never try to sell something they don’t need to a customer. There is always a solid inbuilt ethic about not scamming customers out of their money or cold calling them without personalization.
A report by PWC states that 32% of customers claim they’d walk away from a brand they love after just one negative experience. Identifying and empathizing with customers is imperative to become an integral part of a dynamic sales team.
4. Identifying competition
Like a football game, observing the competition and predicting their moves is crucial to score in sales. A successful Strategic Digital Sales Professional must recognize the unique selling points of their product or service compared to the competitors. They must strategize newer ways of staying ahead of the curve and protecting the business interests.
5. Digital sales strategies
Digital sales are the new age approach and necessity of the Sales domain. According to a report by Forbes,91 percent of buyers report they are more likely to shop with brands that engage with them. Incorporating various digital tools like personalized emails, messages, WhatsApp texts, etc., can bring in an immense amount of customer interest into the brand.
These creative collaterals can be leveraged to capture the potential customers’ attention immediately after marketing and branding events, increasing the sales conversion rates.
Different job roles and responsibilities in sales strategy
♦ Sales associate
An entry-level sales representative or a Sales associate works on the ground level. They will be responsible for direct selling and must possess excellent communication skills.
♦ Team leader
A Sales Associate who showcases outstanding performance with great vision easily and quickly transitions into a Team Leader position. The responsibilities here include individual performance and scaling up the team’s performance to achieve the charted-out target.
♦ Regional manager/ Branch manager
The position of a Regional Manager or a Branch Manager can vary based on the organization’s size. The people in this position are directly responsible for recruiting salespeople, deciding individual compensation, and regularly training their employees to increase their effectiveness with the customers.
♦ Executive leader
The Executive level usually includes the likes of Director of Sales, Vice President of Sales, etc. They are responsible for strategizing the organization’s vision and mission into profitable initiatives. Providing guidance, setting organizational goals, and ensuring every valuable initiative is successfully completed form an integral part of their responsibilities.
As times change, so does the approach to a problem. When the pandemic challenged the existing Sales methodologies, the approach to the sales domain was altered drastically, giving rise to new trends and techniques. Being able to adapt to the same is of utmost importance to charter out a thriving career in Strategic Sales Management.
(The author is Vice President – B2C Sales at UNext Learning)